Reflections on a year as ALA president – at LOC 6 Dec 2011

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Photo of Roberta Stevens


Roberta Stevens, who has managed the Library of Congress Bicentennial and the National Book Festival in her 26 years at the Library of Congress, will discuss her year as the 2010-2011 president of the American Library Association (ALA).
The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture, sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Stevens will describe how she used the visibility of ALA’s presidency to build support for libraries during a time of economic uncertainty and the re-examination of the value of public and private institutions. She will discuss how the year’s major controversies reflected fundamental shifts in America’s economy and society, how it affected libraries and how to work with the media in times of change.
A particular focus of her talk will be experiences from her national and international travels as president and perspectives on the evolution of libraries in response to political transformations throughout the world.
Stevens is the sixth person in the history of the Library of Congress to be elected to the presidency of ALA, a 61,000-member organization dating back to 1878 and dedicated to providing leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship.
Stevens has worked in libraries for 37 years. She began as the coordinator of a school media resource center, was chairperson of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and directed technical operations for the Fairfax County Public Library system before joining the Library of Congress as the customer services officer in the Cataloging Distribution Service.
Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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